Find a wedding service near Parkside, MD

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is a wedding planner?

A wedding planner is a professional service provider whose job it is to organize and execute all the details of a couple’s wedding. A wedding planner can be contracted at any stage in the wedding planning process to help to any degree the couple is willing to pay for. Wedding planning is similar to event planning in that a planning team handles the coordination of multiple wedding elements including catering, venue, guests, entertainment, decor, transportation and more. Anyone who has ever been involved in a wedding can confirm that wedding planning is hard work. Experience brings wisdom when it comes to avoiding or resolving day-of challenges. There is no legal regulatory body that oversees or certifies wedding planning as an industry. Anyone who chooses can call themselves a wedding planner. When looking for a wedding planner, be sure to read reviews, and make smart hiring decisions by asking about licenses and insurance.

What is a mariachi band?

Mariachi bands are rooted in Mexican culture. Traditional mariachi bands consisted of two or more members playing stringed instruments, wearing regional costumes adapted from the charro (Mexican horseman or cowboy). Modern mariachi bands, which are likely what you’re looking for when searching for a mariachi band for hire, feature at least four members who play stringed instruments (violin, vihuela, bass guitar called guitarron) and one or more trumpets. The costumes have remained the same, but now trumpets are synonymous with mariachi music. Mariachi bands for hire often play a wide range of music, including styles originating from Mexico and adopted from elsewhere. These include jarabes, waltzes, serenades, corridos (Mexican ballads), ranchera, cumbia, and more. Mariachi bands for hire bring a festive and soulful element to a party, birthday, wedding, corporate affair, fundraiser or community event. UNESCO has inscribed mariachi music on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

What is a videographer and what do they do?

A videographer professionally films weddings and other events and edits the footage to create film keepsakes or marketing materials for their clients. Wedding videographers record all the key elements of your wedding day, ceremony and reception, and then edit the hours of film during post-production to make a wedding video, social media highlight reels, and any other film features you choose. Wedding videography captures, in live action, your vows, the cake-cutting, the first dance, reception toasts, the decor, the guests and all the details of your day. Many wedding videographers also interview guests (based on an interview list provided by the couple) and incorporate the recorded responses into the wedding video. Event videography typically costs less than wedding videography, as events are shorter with less detail. The national average cost for event videography is $500-$760, while the national average cost for wedding videography is $990-$1,260. A videographer usually does not need to be licensed, but it is important to confirm they have insurance and good standing in the business community, as well as good client reviews. A great majority of the work happens during post-production. The pros watch and blend together the hours of footage they took (sometimes from multiple cameras) to capture the story of your wedding day or event.

How do you choose a wedding videographer?

A wedding videographer will create a lifetime memory for you from edited video footage of your wedding day, ceremony and reception. Choosing a wedding videographer starts with looking online at portfolios of their past work. There’s no need to talk to anyone unless you love what you see. Next, make sure they have good reviews and past client experience; don’t be shy about asking for references if there aren’t any posted online. When you find someone who has a style you love, ask if they are available on your wedding day. If so, it’s time to talk pricing. Be clear about your maximum budget, and ask what kind of packages they offer. Pricing will depend on the number of crew needed for filming, the hours they are required to be onsite, post-production editing, and the length of the final product. Talk with several wedding videographers to get a feel for what prices are like in your region. Nationally, the average cost for wedding videography ranges between $990 and $1,260 per event. Once you agree on a product and have a plan, get everything in a written and signed contract. Clearly state the details of what is expected for your wedding day and from the final product. Be prepared to pay a deposit to reserve their services for the day, then pay the remainder upon receiving the video.

How much does it cost for a wedding planner?

Wedding planning is a full-time job — unless you hire a professional to handle the hard work for you. The cost for a wedding planner will depend on the level of service you desire. The least expensive wedding planner option is day-of coordination, then partial service, then full-service.  

The national average cost for wedding planning is between $990 and $1,300. Costs are greatly affected by region, with rural or smaller-town wedding planners often far more affordable than planners in higher-cost cities. Here are some examples of the various levels of wedding planning and their potential average costs:

  • Day-of-wedding coordination: $800-$1,700. Day-of services can include the planner finalizing all details, creating a timeline, confirming vendors and overseeing all setup, day-of activities, and cleanup. The couple does all the front-end planning and contracts all the vendors. Time commitment could be about 15-25 hours, depending on pricing.
  • Partial service: $1,500-$3,800. Here the planner works with the couple from the beginning, helping contract vendors, creating a timeline, and overseeing all details of day-of execution. Time commitment could be about 30-60 hours, depending on package and pricing.
  • Full service: $3,500-$8,000 or more. Here the professional handles all wedding and planning details including working on design, securing rentals, getting the venue and vendors, and handling complete execution of the event. Time commitment could be 50-150 hours or more, depending on package and pricing.
  • Consulting: $50-$150 per hour for design, vendor, reception and other wedding planning consultation.
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